Post-Election Reflection: What We Could Have Had

I voted in this election, of course. And I was so excited when Obama was reelected—as were the vast majority of my friends and family. Also, the actors and celebrities whom I follow on Twitter. An Australian actress whom I adore tweeted about watching Obama’s inspiring victory speech while working out at the gym. The entire world was watching us, and I do not have to awkwardly explain that “we tried our best,” or “please don’t hate all of us,” over the internet to my friends in other countries (as I did, as a senior in high school, when Bush was reelected). Our country is continuing to move in the right direction. We still have a President who thinks that gay people, women, and religious minorities are actually people and that zygotes and corporations are not. I almost* couldn’t be more excited.

But we did miss out on a few things that an end to the Obama Presidency and a Romney administration would have meant.

First of all, a Romney White House would probably have meant an end to the First Lady’s crusade against childhood happiness. Because seriously. I am so tired of her Disgusting Food And Miserable Activities initiative. You know what? Elementary school is Hell on Earth. You’re a powerless, miserable child whose entire day, at home and at school, is planned out by adults. The one highlight of a typical third grader’s day? Lunch. People complain about cafeteria food, but if you live in a household where hot dogs and pizza and fried anything is a rare treat, lunch in elementary school is this magical time when you get to eat delicious food and socialize with your peers—or read a book. Food is happiness in its purest physical form, and I, for one, want for children to be happy.

I trust that I do not even have to explain to people why jumping rope outside or playing some kind of sportsball in your backyard is, even if you enjoy it, a hideously inferior activity to anything that you might do indoors. Legos, action figures (or Barbies, etc), books, television, video games—children today have so many delightful ways of entertaining themselves that have nothing to do with the insect-ridden, overly warm, overly humid, exposed, way-too-bright outdoors. Playing outdoors is for barbarians. As a child, I only did it when forced to. And I was forced to.

Guess what? Forcing children to play outside and to eat that gross green stuff that grows in dirt? It does not work. My family only drank water at dinner, we had a “salad night” at least once a week, and my mother used even meaty foods as mules to smuggle even more vegetables into our gullets. In my complaints about my (less than pleasant) childhood, this does not even make the top ten, but it’s not something that I remember fondly, either.

And then I went off to college, where I slowly began to realize that I did not have to eat like I had been required to for all of my life. If I made double-stuffed Oreos (or, more likely, quadruple-stuffed), I could discard the gross chocolate wafers that had no crème on them for a roommate to eat. You can control your weight with how much you eat, and how often (plus riding an exercise bike in front of a television); you do not have to make eating a miserable activity, even some of the time.

As an adult, to quote the fabulous Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation, “I stand by my decision to avoid salad . . . and other disgusting things.”

Okay, so the second thing that we missed out on that we would have had with a Romney Presidency: Mitt Romney Sucks Pass It On. It was a simple post made on Tumblr. For those of you unfamiliar, Tumblr is a blog site where users can upload images, text, or even music or video, which can easily be “liked” and “reblogged” by others on Tumblr. Personally, I tend to take screencaps from shows that I watch, add text from the scene in question, and that makes up the vast majority of my original posts to Tumblr. My most popular original post to Tumblr is from a few weeks ago (taken from ABC’s Once Upon A Time), has 120 “notes” (a number derived from the likes and reblogs that the post has received, mostly from strangers). It is not unusual to see posts with several thousands notes.

One simple, unassuming text post titled: “Mitt Romney Sucks, Pass It On” did not include anything beyond a title. It has received over ten million notes. That is, for the record, a lot. It is, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, the single most popular post ever on Tumblr. With a Mitt Romney Presidency, imagine how many likes and reblogs it could have gotten over four years.

Third, but not last, is all of the poor hurt feelings in our neighboring country of Canada. Just look at this graphic (also on Tumblr), depicting Canada’s disappointment that pro-Obama Americans will not be flocking across the border to a country that has gun control, universal health care, same-sex marriage, and the right to choose. This picture is adorable.

Finally, and most seriously, a Romney White House might have meant a serious reduction among the crazies. If you’ve watched NCIS or Law & Order or just about any other crime drama, you are probably familiar with the ironically named “Patriot” movement or similar movements. These are whackadoo militia-types who are paranoid and crazy. They do not register the births of their children or socialize them normally (even beyond the normal crippling social isolation that comes with homeschooling). They do not vote or obey speed limits or traffic lights. They are, in essence, a bunch of terrifying, well-armed anarchists who often have some very racist views.

Now, if you know someone who is a gun-nut, that’s just weird. But, weird like my obsession with superheroes. Admittedly, my obsession with superheroes does not really equip me to kill people, but my point is that these “Patriots” (who do not acknowledge the legitimacy of the US government) are scary and you should not just assume that someone who is super into guns is one of them.

The “Patriot” movement sprouted up while Clinton was in office, went down when Bush was in office, and then cropped back up with a vengeance when Obama was first elected. In other words, if the political Right is unhappy with the President, the absolute fringe of the fringe right loses their minds.

If Romney had won, these lunatics might have taken four years off to only be normal amounts of crazy.

 

*The absolute Most Beautiful Human On Earth retweeted one of my tweets on Election Day, which kind of almost completely overshadowed the entire election for me because I have “very sensible” priorities.



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Michelle Obama Heading “Women for Obama”

"Women for Obama" Buttons Featuring Michelle Obama
Women played a key role in the presidential victory of Barack Obama, and the stage is set for this to continue into the 2012 fray.  A 48% percent approval rating among women as of an October Gallup poll that showed Obama tanking in many other demographics backs this up.

So where does Michelle Obama fit into this?

From Ms. Magazine:

First Lady Michelle Obama will serve as honorary chair of the 2012 “Women for Obama” initiative, which aims to gather support from women voters for the President’s bid for reelection next year. The initiative is a branch of the Obama campaign’s “Operation Vote,” focusing on targeting minority groups and other voters who traditionally align themselves with the Democratic Party.

In an email sent to Obama campaign supporters, First Lady Obama stated, “Today, we are officially launching Women for Obama – and I am incredibly honored to be serving as its chair. This is a special group dedicated to growing this campaign from the ground up. Because we know better than anyone that movements for real and lasting change have got to start at the grassroots – and they’re sustained by the relationships we develop with one another. Together, that’s what we’re going to do – build relationships with supporters, new and old, and grow this campaign – one woman at a time.”

I know that the decision …

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Should We Focus on the “Approval Ratings” of First Ladies?

photo of president barack obama's wife michelle obama with daughter sasha obama vacationing in spain pictures

First Lady Michelle Obama, once considered quite an asset to her husband both on the campaign trail and in the White House, has taken some heat of late. And no, it’s not for allegedly hen-pecking her husband this time.

What is happening, however, is that her approval ratings are falling.  Plummeting, in fact.  Now, you might be wondering why anyone should give a rat’s ass about the approval ratings of a First Lady.

Historically, in fact, a First Lady’s primary job was eye candy.  Now, though, a woman married to the president is held up to a whole new level of scrutiny that is monitored relentlessly through polls.  Sometimes I wonder if Michelle Obama has any regrets …

Anyway, Mrs. Obama’s approval ratings have taken a serious hit in the last few months (according to the most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, only half of those surveyed have a favorable outlook on Michelle O.), and the apparent reason is kind of unfair.

From Townhall.com:

The survey was taken from Aug. 5 to Aug. 9, which happened to coincide with Mrs. Obama’s vacation in Spain, where she, along with daughter Sasha and several friends, stayed in a posh five-star resort. It was a luxurious getaway for the first lady of a nation with nearly 10 percent unemployment and widespread economic anxiety, and it fed an image of extravagance that Mrs. Obama has created by, among other things, patronizing chichi restaurants and wearing $775 boots to break ground at her White House garden. A new name — “Michelle Antoinette” — was born.

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Rod Blagojevich, King Of Political Corruption, Claims Barack Obama a Hen-Pecked Husband

Photo of Michelle Obama
If you believe former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Barack Obama is a “hen-pecked” husband who is subservient to his wife, Michelle.  Of course, Blago is currently on trial for federal fraud and bribery charges, so it might be best to take his assertions with a grain of salt.

From The Chicago Tribune:

Rod Blagojevich is not exactly emerging as a shining example of enlightened feminist-friendly rhetoric in the undercover recordings being played at his trial this afternoon.
An example is a conversation he held with chief of staff John Harris on Nov. 7, 2008, in which the two were still discussing Blagojevich’s plans to swap a Senate appointment for a post in the Obama administration or some high-paying job in the private sector.

The two were reviewing talks with union officials they perceived to be emissaries of Obama. Blagojevich said the emissaries didn’t seem to know exactly what to make of his swap request.

“Barack really wants to get away from Illinois politics,” said Blagojevich, laughing.

Eventually the talk got around to a suggestion that they try a different route to convey the swap idea to the president: through soon-to-be first lady Michelle Obama.

“He’s a lot more hen-pecked than me,” Blagojevich said. “He listens to Michelle.”

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